Atlanta Ballet will move its annual production of The Nutcracker from its traditional home at the Fox Theatre to the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in 2020.
The Nutcracker is the ballet’s signature show each season, with a three-week run that stands as a foundation in terms of income and in showcasing the company to casual dance fans. The company has performed three versions of the holiday classic at the Fox, more than 500 performances during the past 25 years.
The rest of the company’s season is traditionally performed at Cobb Energy. The Fox afforded more seating capacity and a higher-profile venue in the middle of Atlanta. Part of the reasoning behind the move is that the company debuted a brand-new version of the show last year that demands high-tech production.
“It has been an honor to call the Fox Theatre ‘home’ every December for more than two decades,” Arturo Jacobus, the ballet’s president and CEO, said in a press release. “We are grateful for our longstanding relationship with the Fox Theatre, and we wish them the best with their future holiday programming.”
Atlanta Ballet debuted its version of The Nutcracker at the Fox Theatre in 1994 in the final season of then-artistic director Robert Barnett. His replacement, John McFall, debuted a new version of the holiday tale in 1995, and it became one of the city’s premier holiday traditions.
Last year, current artistic director Gennadi Nedvigin debuted a new $3.7 million production that features choreography by Yuri Possokhov. The new show requires state-of-the-art production technology, which is on hand at Cobb Energy, for special effects that include digitally generated snowfall and video projections.
Atlanta Ballet also will have the opportunity to do up to 30 performances each December, rather than the 19 it did at the Fox.
“While we are going to miss its twinkling marquee, iconic starry sky, elaborate Moorish decor and, of course, our dear friend ‘Mighty Mo,’ we are thrilled to introduce audiences to a brand-new state-of-the-art Nutcracker experience at the incredible Cobb Energy Centre,” Jacobus said. “We look forward to continuing to make memories with longtime Nutcracker-goers as well as establishing new traditions with the next generation of Nutcracker audiences at this world-class venue.”
Nedvigin said the company will celebrate its long relationship with the Fox Theatre at every performance this December. “The Fox Theatre holds a special place in the hearts of so many families who have established a tradition of attending Atlanta Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker every holiday season,” he said. “We are lucky to have the opportunity to present future productions of The Nutcracker at such a remarkable facility that is specifically designed for performing arts. Cobb Energy Centre will serve as an ideal venue for audiences to experience this cutting-edge production in all its high-tech glory.”